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Yigo neighbors concerned with old water pipe

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by Kyla Aquino

Guam - Water woes up in Yigo, as residents for years have been complaining about an eyesore - an old water pipe that is partially above ground and has constant leaks that Guam Waterworks Authority officials have only been making temporary repairs to.

"It's been a concern over time," said Yigo mayor Bob Lizama. "It's not once, it's not twice, it's been quite a few times that I get concerns from residents around this particular street." That street is Chalan Vicentico, a problem the mayor says is caused by a certain pipe that for years has been a burden for residents in the area, like Robert Torres, who has been living in the area for the past eight years.

"Not only is it an eyesore, but I was hoping that they can get the pipe fixed as soon as possible mostly because I'm hoping to level the property here so that I can buildup a proper driveway. I'm always driving up this steep hill and it does cause some problems with my car or motorcycle," Torres explained.

Water is also leaking in different spots from a 200-foot galvanized water pipe. "Over time it's Waterworks, it's evident and it shows that waterworks does respond to repair these leaks but if you count I've counted 77 clamps that I see that's surfaced on perhaps there's more on this particular street where all you see is patch after patch after patch," said the mayor.

Mayor Lizama says this issue has fallen on deaf ears and that this pipe should just be replaced.  He does say residents have not reported any low water pressure but other complaints have been made, as Torres notes, "Every once in a while we get some brown water."

"There's also evidence of residue or rather algae settlement along the shoulder government easement that it's evident of stagnant water that there is a leak somewhere there that they need to come back and take a look where this water is coming from," Lizama said.

While GWA could not say just how much it costs each time they make the temporary repairs, officials say the clamps are part of the agency's inventory. Although residents have flooded the Mayor's Office with concerns about what they call a neglected water pipe, water officials say that this is a problem but it won't be fixed any time soon.

GWA spokesperson Heidi Ballendorf says she is aware of the water pipe, but that it's not an isolated issue. Although GWA has plans to replace the old pipes in the village, those plans are not expected to be done for the next year. Ballendorf admits GWA officials inspected the site today and could not explain why the pipe has had multiple band aid repairs rather than a complete replacement.

She says a work order is being processed so that the line - as well as other old water lines - are changed out.

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